As expected, the Boston Red Sox on Sunday picked up shortstop Marco Scutaro's $6 million team option for 2012.
Scutaro, who had a $3 million player option if the Red Sox had passed, hit a career-best .299 for the season with seven homers and 54 RBIs. He also posted a .358 on-base percentage and a .423 slugging percentage, both career highs.
He was one of the few Red Sox players to step up their game during the team's 7-20 September slide. Scutaro hit .387 in the final month of the season, third best in the American League. Over the last 10 years, only Manny Ramirez (.396 in 2002) and David Ortiz (.396 in 2007) have posted a higher September average for Boston. The strong final month gave Scutaro a .781 OPS that rivaled his final season in Toronto, which is considered to be the best of his career.
"Scutaro had a really good year and we believe he'd be very coveted this offseason if he got into the market," general manager Ben Cherington said at his introductory press conference last week.
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